What kid playing around with all the wacky paintbrushes offered on Microsoft Paint didn’t wish there was a simple way to make their masterpieces move? It might be a decade or so too late, but artist Andrew Benson has finally answered the prayers of budding digital artists everywhere with “Boopy Club,” a curiously addictive online gif generator.
Made with assistance from Giphy, Boopy Club is a very simple gif maker anyone can use to create multi-hued, endlessly looping images. It features a selection of different brushes as well as the option to manipulate a photo from your webcam.
Anyone who grew up on kitschy 1990s image creators like MS Paint and the beloved Kid Pix will be familiar with the textures and colors here, as well as with the sense that you have little control over how the final result actually turns out. Boopy Club does not let you select what color comes out of your cursor, nor can you undo a line once it has been done.
This frustration somehow only makes Boopy Club more compelling, adding to the experience’s nostalgia factor. You might find yourself drawing rainbow spirals on its blank screen for a lot longer than you’d expect.
Even apart from Boopy Club, Benson’s practice as a digital artist raises questions about what we talk about when we talk about the concept of a gif: “The way that it is at once an image but also happening over time and in a loop is fantastic,” he told Paper Mag, adding, “I don’t know that we really have sufficient language to discuss this effect.”
Of Boopy Club, he said, “ I am always surprised by where I end up.” The name came from the looping nature of the program: “For a minute I was calling it ‘Loopy,’ but that turned into ‘Boopy’ as I started thinking of each mark like a sound and saying ‘boop, boop, boop’ as I played with it.”
Try playing with Boopy Club yourself here, and scroll down to see some of Benson’s gif art.